Montenegrin Maritime Archaeological Research Project: A Joint Initiative of the Museum of Bar, Montenegro, and the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton

The project developed in response to finds in Maljevik Bay, near Sutomore in the Municipality of Bar, southern Montenegro. The discovery of columns and dressed stone blocks from a monumental ancient building lying in 3m of water 200m from shore attracted national and international press attention. Their presence in this unexpected location remains a mystery: Were they the cargo from an ancient shipwreck? Traces of an ancient coastal settlement subsequently flooded? Blocks of stone quarried locally and lost at sea on their way to an unknown destination? The search for an answer requires detailed and careful archaeological survey, documentation and analysis.

Montenegro’s Adriatic coast lies on one of the great shipping highways of the ancient and medieval Mediterranean, but its wealth of submerged historic remains is largely undocumented. By bringing together expertise from the University of Southampton with that of local archaeologists and heritage professionals, the project aims both to document this previously unknown resource, to bring it to the attention of a wider national and international public, and to encourage the better management and protection of these fragile and internationally significant sites.

For this reason the project not only investigates the Maljevik site but includes elements that begin to address the maritime heritage of this part of Montenegro’s coastline, an area facing accelerated development and tourism – most importantly the documentation of ceramic remains in Bigovica Bay.


  • Mladen Zagarcanin, Cultural Centre – Museum of Bar
  • Lucy Blue
  • Athena Trakadas
  • Charles Le Quesne, RPS Group
  • Matthew Dames